Matt Harrison undergoes spinal fusion surgery, which could threaten his baseball career

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Matt Harrison has been limited to six starts over the past two seasons because of lingering back issues, and now his career might be in jeopardy.

Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest.com reports that Harrison underwent lumbar disc fusion surgery on Tuesday in Dallas, Texas and “there’s a chance” he won’t recover to the point where he can throw from a mound on a regular basis. The 28-year-old lefty has already been placed on the disabled list and can at least be ruled out though the remainder of 2014.

Harrison signed a five-year, $55 million contract extension with Texas before the 2013 season.

He posted a 3.34 ERA (132 ERA+) in 399 innings between the 2011 and 2012 campaigns.

Padres may have more interest in Dallas Keuchel than Bryce Harper

Dallas Keuchel
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An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.

As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.

While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.